Text CEE (Bass Sekolah)
Have you ever Googled the word “jungle sounds”? No? Yes? Well, I just did and lots of app suggestions for “jungle sound generators” and hour-long YouTube videos with jungle sounds for your ultimate relaxation and background ambient for your city home came up. The jungle is a shape-shifter; it knows no boundaries, comes in endless colours, and is probably the only place on earth with such a wide frequency spectrum. The jungle basically never shuts up.
So what happens when you bring a bunch of musicians from Asia-Pacific and Germany to be in such a sonic atmosphere, work with its intruding sounds, and turn said sounds into their own harmonies and bleeps? Let the sampling begin, because SoundLab is coming.
SoundLab is an initiative by Goethe-Institut Malaysia, BorderMovement, Detour Asia, and the Dusun. Fifteen musicians from Myanmar, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, and Germany will stay in the rainforest resort the Dusun to work on music, explore ways to collaborate, and create and connect.
The participating musicians are given no guidelines on how to collaborate while cutting through the layers of constant noise. Keep in mind, no sound proofing will keep them critters from interfering with the electronic soundscapes. The musicians just have to find ways to play with it.
There will be lots of sound searching in the true sense of the phrase. Jungle treks and quick walks to the river will keep us all busy, collecting audio memories. The surroundings will throw us into different acoustic and visual scenarios and stimulate the muse inside. The outcome uncertain.
Improvisations will be inevitable and also based on the genre preferences of the participants. Another way to break the usual music patterns is to give our studio setups differing unique directions. One of our studio setups will mainly be used for ambient, drone, and beatless music compositions. Setting limits can be a creative amplifier – we usually prosper when we throw ourselves into these unchartered territories. Your ultimate comfort zone can also become your muse killer and SoundLab’s aim is to drag the participants into new frontiers.
It wasn’t the easiest task to put the group of musicians together. Talent, in fact, wasn’t sparse at all. Another obstacle was the task to create some kind of genre-bending super group. Some of our choices are singer-songwriters, some are rather drone and ambient driven, while some are simply good with any kind of instrument you put into their hands whether it’s a drum set or a bass guitar. Among our participants, we have Born in Flamez from Berlin (Germany), who has released music on Modeselektor’s label Monkeytown and UnReal Audio; Nadia Reid from New Zealand, who was recently featured on Pitchfork and Billboard; Australian beatsmith Dizz1, who dropped his debut album on Tru Thoughts and is a Red Bull Music Academy alumnus; Singapore’s very own Vandetta, with releases on Syndicate SG; Manila-based similarobjects, with releases on Darker Than Wax; Darko C of Burma’s Burmélange and the punk band Side Effect; Delicate Decibel member Auttaratt aka Space360 from Thailand; Malaysia’s soul singer Najwa Mahiaddin alongside bass virtuoso Fook from Bassment Syndicate; Nguyen Hong Giang with his epic soundscapes from Vietnam; Frisbee Records co-founder Dea from Indonesia; and the SoundLab incubators Cee and Darren Ashley of Bass Sekolah, also from Malaysia. The mix of musicians just couldn’t be any wilder.
Oh, curious as to what the ultimate result would sound like? Our very own The Dusun Sessions is a good indicator, stream it below:
If you are keen to meet all these talents, come to the reception event at Feeka, 19 Jalan Mesui, Bukit Bintang on Saturday 16 January ’16 at 3pm. Please follow Detour Asia on Facebook here for more information, and keep up to date via the event page here.